Govt, Cong rally behind PC, Oppn demands his resignation

P Chidambaram
New Delhi, Sept 22: Government and Congress today (Sept 22) rallied behind Home Minister P Chidambaram asserting his integrity is not in doubt even as the Opposition pressed for his resignation over his stand in the controversial 2G spectrum allocation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also called Chidambaram from Frankfurt and is understood to have expressed full faith in his integrity, a day after a Finance Ministry note to the Prime Minister's office(PMO) submitted to the Supreme Court by Janata party leader Subramanian kicked up a storm.

Both Chidambaram, who was touring quake-hite areas in Sikkim, and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is in New York, declined to comment on the raging row over the "secret" note which appeared to have raised questions on Chidambaram's stand when he was the Finance Minister.

Mukherjee said he cannot make any remark on the matter as it is "subjudice".

"The matter is subjudice. I cannot make any comment on it. The whole matter is under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court of India. We cannot make any comment on any matter that is subjudice," he said.

The note suggested that the 2G scam could have been averted if the Finance Ministry, then under Chidambaram, had insisted on spectrum allocation through auction.

"The party does not doubt his integrity," Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said rejecting the demand for Chidambaram's resignation or for a CBI probe in the light of the Finance Ministry note.

He said the "mischievous attempt" to create a rift between different constitutional functionaries is highly regrettable and ought not to be repeated.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid said there could be "no question mark" on Chidambaram and that he deserves the support of the government.

"I have now seen the paper and I want to make it very clear that as far as we are concerned in the government, there is no question mark whatsoever...nothing of questionable nature on the conduct of (then Finance Minister) P Chidambaram ...I can say this with full authority. He deserves the support of the government," Khurshid said.

BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi, who as PAC Chairman probed the 2G scam, and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa led the Opposition offensive to demand that Chidambaram resign immediately or be sacked by the Prime Minister.


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